A Critical Race Theory look at Teacher education

In the U.S., achievement gaps by race/ethnicity persist. I will use Critical Race Theory to ask what teacher education is doing to address them. But first, let’s look at the gaps themselves. I like to use data from the National Assessment of Education Progress, because it has been given to samples of students since the […]

Research can Impact Policy: Ethnic Studies in California

In September, 2016, Governor Jerry Brown of California signed into law a bill — AB 2016 — authorizing the development of high school ethnic studies curriculum. The success of passage of AB 2016 illustrates how research can impact policy, particularly when it is connected with organizing on the ground, and with policy-makers who bring their own commitment. […]

Un-Standardizing Curriculum, 2nd edition

Coming in November: The second edition of best-seller Un-Standardizing Curriculum: Multicultural Teaching in the Standards-Based Classroom (Teachers College Press). In this second edition, Judith Flores Carmona and I show how teachers can learn to teach rich, academically rigorous, multicultural curricula in standards-based contexts, particularly Common Core. This second edition includes several new vignettes of classroom teachers, […]

Theft of Indigenous Peoples’ Land

In a recent article I wrote about ancestors who, in different states and at different times, acquired land very cheaply from the state rather than from a specific person, and my realization that they had profited directly from the U.S. government’s theft of Indigenous peoples’ land. On two occasions in the last month, I have been asked how […]

Multicultural or Ethnic Studies?

Because of my work in both multicultural education and ethnic studies, I am sometimes asked whether I think it is better to infuse diverse groups throughout the curriculum, or to organize the curriculum around the study of one specific group. In other words, should we do multicultural or ethnic studies? My response is “both.” But […]

Critical Family History Book Review: Women of the Dawn

In April, 2016, I had an opportunity to visit Indian Island in the Penobscot River of Maine, and to meet some members of the Penobscot Nation. In that context, I learned about the wonderful book Women of the Dawn in which anthropologist Bunny McBride narrates the lives of four Wabanaki women of different generations. The term Wabanaki, […]

Census records around the world

When I am doing workshops on Critical Family History, I often work with people whose parents were immigrants, or who themselves are immigrants. What kind of census records are available from around the world? The answer is: More than you might think, and more than I thought until I sat down to take a close […]

Critical Family History, Race, and Memory Work

“In America, we have only the present tense,” observed Adrienne Rich in The Burning of Paper Instead of Children. America’s “presentism,” constructed mainly by white people, erases memory of the violent foundations of white supremacy. Critical family history, as memory work, disrupts that erasure.  Family history has become a popular journey into the past. Yet […]

Searching Freedmen’s Bureau Records

About a month ago, I learned that searching Freedmen’s Bureau records was now a possibility. What a wonderful resource for African American family historians! Between 1865 and 1872, the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (what came to be known as the Freedmen’s Bureau) assisted tens of thousands of former slaves and impoverished whites […]

How not to do family history

Last week, while scrolling through Twitter, this image jumped out at me. Oh my god, this is exactly how NOT to do family history in the classroom. Apparently the sixth grade teacher had not thought very clearly about the histories of her diverse students, or the purpose family history might serve in her classroom. Writing about […]

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